Saturday, September 19, 2009
Book of the Week
Our latest Book of the Week selection is one I just finished reading for a new book club that I belong to. There's a new book club for Middle and High School English teachers that Ms. Simpson (from the Middle School) and I recently started. Our first selection is called Why I Fight by J. Adams Oaks.
This book grabbed me right away. I literally could not put it down. The narrator, Wyatt, is so realistic, so engaging that I was hooked from the first page. He describes a life that has not been easy, to say the least. The story starts with Wyatt waking in a homeless shelter to find his long-lost uncle Spade taking him away from his neglectful parents. At first, Spade seems like a bit of a roughneck savior, but that all changes as Wyatt gets older and becomes more useful to Spade.
And by useful, I mean a money maker. Spade uses Wyatt as a way to bring in extra cash through bare-fist fights in alleys and basements. There are no gloves in these fights, no ring to fight in, and definitely no referees. Slowly, after years of fighting, Wyatt begins to realize Spade's shortcomings and seeks to get out from his uncle's control.
This is a powerful, real-sounding read. Wyatt's story is heartbreaking and hopeful all at the same time. This book would probably appeal more to teen boys than girls, but I think that there are elements that to this story that are pretty universal. It's not long (a little over 200 pages) and is a fast read. You can find this book at the back of the room, though there have been some interested parties and you may have to wait for it!